If the intent of this idiotic article is to provoke, Indian Express has poorly chosen Seema Chisthi to do the job. It is notable for total lack of clarity, overt one-sidedness, and loudly communal. That it is nakedly pro-Congress is obvious because it is published where it is. But if the intent–which I suspect it is–is to offer sane advise to the Congress party, this article is an example of what not dish out.
Seema Chisthi displays her absolute ignorance about the run up to these elections when she says
In the past 12 years, barring one election, in all the four Lok Sabha polls, the BJP has been consistently getting more seats in Karnataka than the Congress. It was just in 1999 that the Congress got 18 seats and the BJP seven. So, the BJP victory in the assembly this month was something waiting to happen â€” something the Congress number-crunchers should have anticipated.
This is right in parts but completely wrong as a whole. What is your wager that the BJP would have won so spectacularly had the JD(S) allowed them to completed their share of 20 months, and polls were held in 2009? As I’ve mentioned before, the JD(S) has gifted most of the 110 seats to the BJP, which is a reasonable conclusion if you compare the seat swings between the two parties during 2004 and now. The BJP and JD(S) bagged 79 and 58 seats respectively in 2004 while in 2008, this stands at 110 and 28. Something other than pure magic should explain this corresponding increase and decrease in just 3-plus years. Seema reminds me of a Congress leader who speaks like a sore loser.
She also talks about weekend Congress election managers
About eight chief ministerial candidates, para-trooping national leaders, weekend election managers, not a single local face to embody its politics and, most of all, no real â€œpoliticsâ€ it could claim as its own.
This is complete bunkum. The paratroopers and weekenders were adequately shown their place by the very non-existent “single local face(s).” They had plenty of local faces: S.M. Krishna the campaign manager (who ironically was denied a ticket), Kharge, the Dalit Chief Ministerial face, Dharam Singh, D.K. Shiva Kumar, H.K. Patil who famously thundered about getting “justice for Gadag,” R.V.Deshpande, Siddaramaiah… But as we shall see, the real damage was done by the very person Seema absolves of all guilt.
So the Congress did well in seats visited by Rahul Gandhi, but the stamina needed to turn his freshness and charisma into a new or energetic â€œpoliticsâ€ (not just seats) just wasnâ€™t there.
the Crown Prince Rahul Gandhi did a whirlwind tour of the state, he exactly visited pockets of the state. He semi-skipped most of Southern Karnataka for understandable reasons. As the results demonstrate, Congress has met expectations in this region. I recall the TV footage that showed his Scorpio zipping inside the thickets of Bandipur and Nagarhole, amazing locations for delivering bloodcurdling election speeches. His North Karnataka tour lasted longer again, entirely understandable. The BJP has virtually pocketed the entire region. TV footage of Rahul Gandhi’s tour of this region disrobed the ugly face of Congress sycophancy. An angry Rahul Gandhi yelling at senior–the same local faces–leaders like Kharge and co, and the latter bearing the insult with utter equanimity. But Seema is an honourable columnist for she says the Congress did well in these regions. However, the results show the exact opposite.
However, the mandatory BJP-bashing takes an unintelligible but highly communal overtone. Fathomable because she invokes (horror!) Narendra Modi.
The much-Sanskritised chief minister of Gujarat, Narendra Modi, who had also campaigned in Karnataka, was calmly in conversation with the TV anchor, commenting on national issues. Very difficult to engage on matters outside Gujarat usually, he signalled his stepping onto a national stage on Sunday â€” a Sanskritisation (a phrase coined by a Kannadiga sociologist M.N. Srinivas, incidentally) in political terms, which could have violent consequences for not just his party, but also for how politics may take shape quickly, and feverishly, before 2009.
A brief backgrounder is necessary to even (vainly) attempt decrypting Sanskritised. Now, this used to a widely-circulated
obscenity pejorative term in the heydays of fierce anti-Brahmin movement. Very similar to how it is enough to declaim Saffron (and its other variants) today to seal an argument, Sanskritised was an effective invective to shut people up. In the hands of highly skilled elocutionists, it worked magic (I refer here to some very interesting forms of debate that D.V. Gundappa, S.L Bhyrappa, and others have documented). But it was gradually abandoned because ever since, Brahmins have been “shown their place.” Sanskritisation, a noun used as a verb form is a strange creature that really defies definition. Interestingly, Seema uses this without defining it, an act similar to her boss Sonia Gandhi who wields power without responsibility but alludes to M.N. Srinivas who coined it. M.N. Srinivas in turn, is (was?) regarded as one of the pioneers of Indian sociology. Much of what he has written is based on and derived from Western conception of Indian sociology but couched in different language. And Sanskritisation, however, you want to define it, has no factual basis in Indian history or tradition or society–unless you equate Sanskritisation with Brahminisation (ugh and sic!). In which case, we know what Seema refers to. I’m willing to stand corrected if you come with a convincing counter argument on the definition of Sanskritisation/Sanskritised.
And does Seema say violent consequences? Just shut up, Seema!